Jørgen Plaetner, PLAETNER: Electronic Music

Todd Burns

By Todd Burns

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A forgotten electronic music pioneer is finally collected.

It's hard to understand exactly how Jorgen Plaetner was forgotten so completely by devotees of early electronic music. His '60s and '70s compositions sound more contemporary than Stockhausen, Xenakis or Schaeffer. In fact, if you played "Beta" for any noise musician today, they'd probably have a hard time telling it apart from, say, Alec Empire's Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5. Whatever the reason, Plaetner's wide breadth of sound — the one-two combo of the spasming tone sequences of "Modulations" and the hauntingly beautiful flute/electronic duo of "Nocturne" being a prime example — almost seems like a joke. Can these two pieces be by the same composer? Did Denmark secretly produce the world's finest musique concrète? Listen and judge for yourself.